20 Nov 2023

Three debutants named for Football Ferns games against Colombia

11:01 am on 20 November 2023
Phoenix midfielder Macey Fraser challenges for the ball against Melbourne City.

Phoenix midfielder Macey Fraser challenges for the ball against Melbourne City. Photo: Masanori Udagawa / www.photosport.nz

Three newcomers have been named in the Football Ferns squad to play World Cup quarterfinalists Colombia in Bogota next month.

The debutants are Wellington Phoenix midfielder Macey Fraser, Sunderland midfielder Katie Kitching and Canberra United forward Ruby Nathan.

Both 21-year-old Fraser and 18-year-old Nathan were part of the New Zealand side at the U-20 Women's World Cup in August last year and have made their A-League Women debuts this season.

Kitching, 25, has made a strong start to the English Women's Championship season, with two goals and two assists, and played in every game so far for second placed Sunderland.

Ferns coach Jitka Klimková has also named five players who were not part of the squad which played against Chile in September.

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - JULY 25: Hannah Wilkinson of New Zealand reacts during the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Group A match between New Zealand and Philippines at Wellington Regional Stadium on July 25, 2023 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Hanna Wilkinson will miss the games against Colombia due to suspension. Photo: Getty Images / Catherine Ivill

Absent from the squad to play Colombia forward Hannah Wilkinson who is serving a two game suspension after being sent off against Chile.

"After a historic and special 2023 our focus now switches to the next cycle and putting the team in the best possible position to qualify for the Olympics" said Klimková.

"The games against Colombia will be a good test for us. I want our players to be exposed to the challenge of playing a South American style of play, which will help us grow as a team.

"We showed the potential we have as a side during the FIFA Women's World Cup, and now we need to be delivering performances like that consistently."

New Zealand play Colombia in Bogota on Sunday December 3rd and again on Wedensday December 6.

The first fixture will be played at Estadio El Campin, with the second at Estadio Metropolitano de Techo, both in Bogotá, Colombia.

The full squad is:

Mackenzie Barry (7 caps) Wellington Phoenix.

Hannah Blake (6 caps) Adelaide United.

Katie Bowen (98 caps) Inter Milan, Italy.

Daisy Cleverley (31 caps) HB Køge, Denmark

Ava Collins (11 caps) St John's University, USA

Brianna Edwards (0 caps) Wellington Phoenix.

Victoria Esson (20 caps) Rangers, Scotland

Michaela Foster (8 caps) Wellington Phoenix.

Macey Fraser* (0 caps) Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand

Ally Green (5 caps) AGF, Denmark

Jacqui Hand (17 caps) Åland United, Finland

Betsy Hassett (150 caps) Stjarnan FC, Iceland

Grace Jale (21 caps) Perth Glory, Australia

Katie Kitching* (0 caps) Sunderland AFC, England

Anna Leat (11 caps) Aston Villa, England

Meikayla Moore (63 caps) Glasgow City, Scotland

Ruby Nathan* (0 caps) Canberra United, Australia

Grace Neville (6 caps) London City Lionesses, England

Ali Riley (159 caps) Angel City, USA

Indiah-Paige Riley (14 caps) PSV Vrouwen, Netherlands

Paige Satchell (46 caps) London City Lionesses, England

Malia Steinmetz (25 caps) FC Nordsjælland, Denmark

Rebekah Stott (95 caps) Melbourne City, Australia

Kate Taylor (10 caps) Wellington Phoenix, New Zealand